Special to the Register & Bee

During George Washington High School’s graduation ceremony May 31, Danville Public Schools announced the first-ever Strategic Partnership Award winners.



The award, which will be given annually, goes to a business, organization or individual who has given their time, talent and/or financial resources to support programs and initiatives. The winners are:

  • The city of Danville: Beginning in February 2017, the Danville School Board and Danville City Council engaged in dialogue around core beliefs, values and aspirations about public education through a joint retreat. Since then, the groups continue to work collaboratively to increase investments in public education, align career and technical education programs with workforce and economic development priorities, and examine opportunities to develop an educational compact for sustained investments.
  • Institute for Advanced Learning and Research: The Institute inspires the community to become involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) from a young age through adulthood. The advanced learning division offers STEM programs throughout the year to expose students to STEM in hopes that they may develop an interest in these critical areas.
  • J.T.-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust: The J.T.-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust was recognized because of a $160,000 grant awarded to the school system to assist with the up-fit costs for the state-of-the-art precision machining technology lab at George Washington High School. The program was developed in collaboration with Danville Community College and allows students to receive hands-on, real-world experiences.
  • Noblis: Noblis is a collaborative partner in the development of academic and career plans for students in middle school. The group’s financial donation helped provide Chromebooks to all students in the career investigation courses at both Bonner and Westwood middle schools. In addition to monetary support, Noblis provided staff to assist with a core curriculum that exposes students to 16 career clusters.
  • Rick Barker Properties: Rick Barker Properties, a local company invested in education, sponsored marketing and recruitment videos for the precision machining technology lab at G.W. The videos were boosted locally, regionally and nationally to attract students to the program and investors to Danville.
  • Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania: For the 2018-19 school year, Smart Beginnings Success School Pilot at G.L.H. Johnson provided specialists four days a week in reading blocks, teacher retention bonuses, books for students and
  • 63 hours of additional professional development. In partnership with PATHS, Averett University and Church-Based Tutorial, Smart Beginnings also provided on-site, part-time behavioral health counseling, after-school tutorials and pre-service teacher placements at Johnson.

“It is an honor to be able to recognize these businesses and organizations as true partners in education,” stated Terri Hall, school board chair. “These partners have made investments in our students by donating their time, talent, and/or financial resources to support DPS programs and initiatives that are both innovative and transformative and designed to prepare our students for a 21st century economy.”